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An important component of developing standards and guidelines to manage information on weeds is to achieve national acceptance of core attributes for surveying and mapping weeds of national significance.

The National NRM Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (NM&EF) called for the identification of ‘matters for target’. Each matter for target has a set of ‘indicators’ used to monitor and report on the topic.

Matter for target: Ecologically significant invasive species

Indicator heading: Selected ecologically significant invasive vegetation species extent and impact


The development of weed-related datasets addresses two levels of need. One is at a broad scale and most relevant to monitoring the management response to existing problems. The other is at a localised scale and is particularly relevant to identifying new incursions at an early stage, and evaluating the significance of the threat.

The first requirement is for data that can be used for defining the distribution of problem species and where, within their distribution, weed incursions are under active management. The second requirement is for data that can be used for evaluating risk and developing response strategies and management plans.

The Audit assessed the extent and distribution of 98 species incorporating the ‘weeds of national significance’ (WONS), the list of weeds nominated for assessment as weeds of national significance, and the National Environmental Alert List.

Sponsor Agencies

The Australian Government departments of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; and the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts have portfolio responsibility for this topic.

National Coordination

The national coordination committee for the weeds theme is the Australian Weeds Committee (AWC), and the Audit’s weed coordinator is Chris Auricht.

National Database

There are no current national databases. The national weeds coordinator is currently compiling maps of the extent and density of 98 species of weeds, compiled from all state and territory agencies’ datasets where they exist. The Audit worked closely with both national coordination committees for invasive species and the Australian Government to define the needs of a national information system for both weeds and vertebrate pests.

Audit Related Publications